For Brazilian Professor, New Torture Law in the US Is Old News

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 signed into law by President, George W. Bush, in fact,  doesn’t change a thing. It just legitimizes practices that have been adopted for decades by the United States.

This is what University of Brasí­lia’s (UnB) Sociology professor, Lúcio Castelo Branco, thinks about the new US legislation. The new law allows the use of rigid methods in interrogations of those charged with terrorism and gives military courts the responsibility for trying the suspects.

In an interview to Rádio Nacional’s Morning News (Notí­cias da Manhã) program, the sociologist said that the United States for many decades now has being training military and police forces to extract information at any price, in order to defend itself against the internal enemy.

"It happens that this enemy has changed its name and it’s not the communist anymore. Today the enemy is all and anyone who is a threat to North-American strategic interests. What changes is the conjuncture in which that act was promulgated," he stated.

According to Castelo Branco, we are dealing with a conjuncture in which the United States possesses the global hegemony and the world, "shrunk from the viewpoint of space, time and  intercomunication simultaneity", has become the domestic forum of the United States, "which acts as it pleases,  refusing to acknowlege any international legislation, convention and rule."

The professor doesn’t think that European contries will try to distance themselves from the US due to the new laws and he observes that it was a French military who devised the torture rules that are now used in wartime. "Colonel Roger Trinquier, has the great perverse merit of generalizing these practices and giving substance to what was once called national security ideology".

For Castelo Branco, however, the national security ideology got a new name nowadays: the United States hegemonic security ideology.

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